LACOSTE sinks its teeth into retail performance benchmarking

The LACOSTE legend was born in 1933 when René Lacoste revolutionised men’s fashion by replacing the traditional long-sleeved, starched shirts on tennis courts by what has now become the classic LACOSTE polo shirt. Today, more than 75 years after its creation, LACOSTE has become a lifestyle brand. The distinctive crocodile logo can be seen on a large collection of apparel for men, women and children, footwear, fragrances, leather goods, eyewear, watches, belts, fashion jewellery and even home furnishings. LACOSTE has a presence in 114 countries and sells two items every second worldwide through its 1,165 dedicated boutiques and 2,000 concessions.

Business challenge

LACOSTE China needed to identify those stores performing to their full potential and those with room for improvement. It recognised that the first step was to benchmark performance between different stores and types of store and then regularly measure key performance indicators (KPIs).


  • ShopperTrak Clarity Counting System
  • ShopperTrak Interactive Reporting
  • ShopperTrak Managed Data Services

Business Benefits of People Counting for LACOSTE

  • Ability to compare stores by size, type and location
  • Identifies stores not performing to their full potential
  • Enables LACOSTE to maximise store revenue and profitability
  • Brings a scientific approach to staff rostering
  • Method of evaluating the effectiveness of promotions and window displays
  • Performance management tool for staff development

As a high-end business in a fiercely competitive marketplace, LACOSTE’s visitor volumes are naturally lower than mass-market retailers and it recognises the need to seize every customer opportunity. Its 30 stores across China are clustered into groups and it wanted to be able to compare performance not only by region but also by store type – boutique, outlet or corner shop – to identify top performing and underperforming stores. LACOSTE China chose to use an ShopperTrak solution already deployed successfully across LACOSTE’s European operations. While it is relatively early days, the analysis is already making an impact. Financial controller Liu Weili says, “We rely on ShopperTrak for accurate traffic data and to benchmark performance between different stores.”

Armed with accurate visitor traffic data, LACOSTE is able to build a true picture of store performance by measuring conversion rate, items per transaction and average transaction value (ATV) rather than look at sales figures in isolation.

“We rely on ShopperTrak for accurate traffic data and to benchmark performance between different stores”

Weili Liu, Financial Controller, LACOSTE China

LACOSTE China is in the process of installing a fingerprint clockingin system. Once implemented, it expects ShopperTrak’s reports to be a valuable tool in perfecting staff rostering. By identifying the number of customers in store at any given hour of the day, LACOSTE’s store managers can ensure they achieve the optimum ratio of staff to customers – the point at which the number of staff will deliver the greatest return without a corresponding increase in wages. This is a finely balanced equation: too many staff will increase conversion rate and items per transaction performance, but not enough to offset the marginal wage costs. Conversely, if there are insufficient staff on hand to serve shoppers, customer service becomes stressed and KPI performance tumbles.

The ability to compare individual stores’ performance not only by area but also by type has also given the LACOSTE China management team valuable insights. Not every store in the LACOSTE group is the same. They come in varying sizes and cater for different demographics but by categorising them in cluster groups – boutique, outlet or corner shop – it enables LACOSTE to compare like with like and evaluate a store’s performance in context.

“With the ShopperTrak analysis we are able to make critical business decisions more systematically.”

Weili Liu, Financial Controller, LACOSTE China

LACOSTE China quickly found that it can rely on its reports from ShopperTrak, which has built its business on the integrity of the data it manages for customers. Skilled analysts using leading software check store data daily to spot any anomalies quickly – for instance, undercounting, overcounting or communications problems – so the glitch can be corrected, saving stores from days or weeks of false readings.

Commenting on the relationship between LACOSTE and ShopperTrak, financial controller Liu Weili remarks, “I have always found ShopperTrak very responsive to any requests. I also like the fact that they are proactive in reviewing the service we receive and continually making suggestions for improvement.” In fact, LACOSTE China is so delighted that it has made the decision to extend its contract to cover all department store corners and outlets.

By ensuring stores are positioned to capture every sales opportunity, LACOSTE China is well placed to achieve its ultimate goals of improving productivity and optimising resources for business growth. As Liu Weili explains, “With the ShopperTrak analysis we are able to make critical business decisions more systematically.”